GM Business Connect Magazine caught up with Julian Emery, director of Banging Drum, and asked about what it means to run a design agency amongst what has always been a busy sector in Greater Manchester.
Julian – tell us about the history of Banging Drum and how you eventually landed in Manchester?
“I set up Banging Drum with Andrew Rowson, a colleague that I have worked with for over 20 years. Andrew and I met whilst working in various London brand houses such as Landor, Brand Union, and Coley Porter Bell to mention a few. We later teamed up to form a London agency called Uncle. It was quite successful and gained some great clients such as The London Stock Exchange, Aon, Investec, Clear Channel, and Estee Lauder. Following some tough times, I moved to Manchester and have been here for 10 years now. I’ve worked for a number of agencies and set up an e-commerce business which I ran for a number of years. But, Banging Drum was always on my mind and I decided to get the old team back together and that is where we are today – producing great design that works.”
Manchester has always been heavily populated with advertising and marketing agencies – how have you found working in such a busy sector?
“It appears that Manchester is bursting at the seams with ‘have-a-go’, fresh-faced design companies, churning out ‘oh-so’ solutions for disappointed clients with higher expectations. Manchester seems awash with vanilla looking design. You might think, that’s a bit strong so, don’t get me wrong, there’s plenty of great agencies out there, but a large number seem to be inexperienced and naive about the value of good design.”
So, how do you make the right decision when commissioning your creative project?
“Youth or experience – your choice. Strong creative ideas that stand the test of time are essential whilst creativity, problem-solving and strategy are the cornerstones of great design. So, however you decide who’s the right design agency for your project, remember this, hard work and collaboration create outstanding work.”
Why Banging Drum? What makes you so different?
“In a word, experience. Andrew and I have worked with some of the biggest companies out there as well as small one-man-band businesses. Our years of experience have given us a wealth of knowledge, enabling us to instinctively know what is the essence of a brand, its values, its spirit if you like. We have a team of seasoned designers and digital developers, system architects, 3D modellers, and animators whom we have worked with for years. Together we are Banging Drum. Our agency can deliver pretty much everything – branding, print design, and digital projects, from a simple online banner to a beautifully designed HTML email. We offer corporate websites to fully loaded e-commerce solutions, and the increasingly popular explainer videos. We all work remotely. This means we don’t have fancy offices paid for by our clients, which in turn means we are competitive on price which is a win-win. In return, our clients get top-level design and web build services for more competitive rates than larger agencies can offer.
“Expertise isn’t just about what we produce, it extends to how we run our business. Trusted, reliable people that are easy to work with. So, show a wide birth to those who fall short on experience and professionalism and remember, proper design doesn’t have to cost the earth.”